Turning generational quest into adventure:Why career researchers love Sean Aiken
How do people make tactics to find and keep a job? How do they define their priorities? These questions are what career research is all about. Firms no longer make careers: how could they when it is impossible to plan the next semester? Our job as researchers is no longer to understand the methods of the enterprise; we need to discover how individuals manage their careers through choices, ruptures and opportunities. Sean is our most interesting witness. His adventure is a perfect example of what the Ã¢â‚¬Å“new careersÃ¢â‚¬Â are. Sean shows us four innovations.
The first innovation is that Sean keeps an open mind in the question of his career. As a business graduate with exceptional marks, perhaps he could have immediately become a manager in an international company. But heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s looking for a passion, not only for a job. His ambition is huge: having an exceptional working life, involving every talent, resource and creativity. Everything is possible: tattoo artist, floristÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ In an open ended world that is constantly changing, everything seems to be possible Ã¢â‚¬" even if the abundance of opportunities is distressing. When everything is possible, how can one make the right choice? How can one find Ã¢â‚¬Å“hisÃ¢â‚¬Â vocation?
Here is the second innovation shown by SeanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s adventure. Everyone has to manage their own career. As ambitions are high and choices so widely open, individuals must develop a new skill : a skill to recognize competencies and to interpret them in order to make the right career decisions and produce the right career tactics. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what Sean learns every day.
Third, Sean turns his quest into a shared adventure. He has a lot of great ideas: blogging, podcasting, donationsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ The Ã¢â‚¬Å“new careersÃ¢â‚¬Â are made of social networks. And, slowly but surely, Sean is becoming a professionalÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ of a new job. He has in effect created a new business, he is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sean Ã¢â‚¬"the-vocation-searcher.Ã¢â‚¬Â It is a job that only one applicant can fit and is made up of all the skills and talents of Sean Ã¢â‚¬" this unique compilation creates a new job. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the fourth innovation of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“new careersÃ¢â‚¬Â: the best way to involve all your skills in your job is to create a job made of all your skills Ã¢â‚¬" instead of trying to fit in an existing and traditional one. Sean is now the hero of a quest turned into an adventure. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why he is so important for all of us.
Jean Pralong Psychologist, HR & career researcher at ESCP-EAP (European school of management Ã¢â‚¬" Paris Ã¢â‚¬" France) www.nouvelles-carrieres.fr